Rise Pakistan - Theorizing
November 18, 2011
Pakistan has been striving for survival ever since its inception. Quite often we find it teetering on the edge of a precipice or struggling through the most critical phase of its history. But nothing changes and we continue on the same course until a new crisis hits us. Overtime we get rather used to such expressions, totally indifferent or unable to change or even think about it. Most of the discussions that we hear or watch on TV talk shows all focus on individuals and not ideas, playing blame game, leading to nowhere.
If we take a deep look into our problems there may be several reasons for our failure of policy and direction but probably lack of leadership is central to all. The nation has all the potentials to rise but so far has failed to produce requisite leadership for the purpose. Remember at the time of Partition this nation, though comparatively less skilled and uneducated, won victories against all odds. The nation had the golden dream of independence shining bright in the eyes of everyone. They were ready to sacrifice the hard-earned wealth, the houses they lived over centuries, the streets where they grew up playing and graveyards where they buried their loved ones and even their own selves. But what happened to us; there is no dream in our eyes anymore and whatever was is fast fading away and we are unable to do anything. Overtime our crisis in leadership is growing and we have visibly no way out.
In this utter disappointment I was wondering when suddenly an idea struck my mind. It was a reflection of a well-founded theory of history given by Ibn Khuldoon about the rise and fall of empires. His thesis explains that how an empire once built by a generation has a seed of destruction embedded in it slowly treads its path to ultimate destruction. He explains that victory brings fortune to the new empire and it starts rejoicing, enjoying and falling in luxury leaving behind the hardships necessary to maintain an empire. With the passage of time when the power transfers to the third generation which was brought up in comfort and had not tasted the nomadic culture, that the empire starts declining. This theory is not a point of discussion here as we are not looking at the fall of an empire rather the rise of a state. If we reverse the case and theorize on the same foundation that it takes three generations for a state to rise and get out of the shackles of colonial dominance to build necessary confidence essential for true leadership that can guide an independent state in the turbulent waters of today’s politics.
I will be making three generalizations to build my case. Firstly, the colonial dominance spanning centuries of rule generates intense inferiority complex in the natives which retards free thinking essential for producing leaders required to run an independent state. Secondly, 25 years is taken as the length of one generation to mature and give birth to a new generation. Thirdly, a man reaches its maturity at the age of 40 when he can make influential contribution to the society. Now coming to the demographic distribution of Pakistan where at the moment in year 2011 Pakistani population is composed of four generations:-
Older Generation (64 years and above) -- those born in British India of parents born in British India. A child born on 13 Aug 1947 and before belongs to this generation and is now in the age category of 64 years and plus. Almost all have retired from government service and have negligible role in decision-making. This generation was under substantial colonial influence. Though it produced marvellous leaders for Pakistan movement and obedient servants thereafter, it failed to give true direction to the independent state of Pakistan.
Old Generation (40 years to 63 years)-- Those born in Pakistan but of Parents born in British India. A child born on and after 15 Aug 1947 will now be aging below 64 years. This generation grew under and alongside the older generation and had considerable colonial influence. This produced leaders who could indicate the problem but could not bring any change. Their contributions cannot be ignored and will be highly useful for the coming generations.
Young Generation (15 years to 39 years) -- those born in Pakistan of parents born in Pakistan. A person born on 15 Aug 1947 had a baby in 1972 (at the age of 25 years) and this baby would now be 39 years old .This category has little colonial influence and can serve the purpose of an independent state. This generation is the hope of Pakistan which can bring change. Moving from thinking to action with a collective support, together we can.
Youngest Generation (14 years and below) -- Those born in Pakistan of parents and grandparent both born in Pakistan. A person born in 1972 of parents born after Partition had a child in 1997, now will be of maximum 14 years of age. This category is believed to have completely recovered and with no colonial influence and is our future. In order to make best use of this generation we have to clear the way and provide environment for ultimate rise of Pakistan.
Our young generation is the bulk of our population which has little colonial influence and the older among them will start entering the 40th years of their age in year 2012. This means that they will be entering the mid level of national decision-making where they can start influencing the policies. The youngest among them one, who are 15 years of age, now will enter 18th year to earn voting right in year 2014 when they will have a chance to participate in the political process of the country. 2013 is the year of election and if we elect leaders out of this group i.e. 40 years and bellow then there is a ray of hope that we may set our foundations for the coming rise.
Next time line is year 2015 when our youngest generation i.e. below 14 years of age, which has no influence of colonial heritage will get the right of vote at the age of 18. Once they will vote it is more likely that the young generation will get elected in substantial majority and chances of change further increase.
And finally, the last timeline when our youngest generation enters 40th year of their age, active decision making in year 2047, Pakistan would be completing 100 years of its independence, the country will start sailing in safe hands. This rosy picture is not an illusion of philosophy but a reality if we all decide to change and participate actively in our national political process.
Back to reality, it is highly probable that our third i.e. the young generation between the ages of 39 and 15 years enters into national political process as a dominant majority any time after 2015. We can hope that an era of success will dawn soon and the yokes of colonial complexes, embedded deep in our national psyche, will be thrown away to set the course right for a truly Independent state of Pakistan. Dream comes true, too late but still not far. Let us all prepare ourselves for the coming elections, participate actively, vote for the young generation (below 40 years) and take charge of our destinies to make Pakistan one of the greatest nations of the world – giving sense to Quaid’s words.